Eastbourne Downs crowned a challenging but successful golf season for gents on Sunday with a Shotgun competition and presentation ceremony for cup winners.
Heavy summer rainfall affected play at all golf clubs in East Sussex this year, but good drainage on the Downs, combined with the doughty attitude of its members, allowed a full roster of fixtures to take place.
Geoff Pack, Steve Redfern, Barry Wooller and George Wooller epitomised the club’s spirit the morning before Presentation Day, playing the final match of a summer knockout competition, long postponed by injury, in swirling wind and fog.
“We could hardly see more than a few yards ahead of us,” said Barry Wooller after the round, “but it was the last day before the trophies were presented and we needed a result. It would have been dangerous, except we were the only players out there and we could keep sight of each other.”
The Woollers ended the match as runners-up of the Evil Challenge Cup for pairs, but had the consolation on Sunday of sharing first prize for the Shotgun, played in a battering wind, with teammates Kieran Reidy and Rasoul Shahilow.
Club Captain John Lynch paid tribute during the award ceremony to the club’s esprit de corps and to two golfers in particular: 2015 Club Champion Shaun Harrison, “a fantastic player and a fantastic asset to the club”, and Rob Caffrey, named Player of the Year after a series of consistently fine performances.
Trophy winners were: Joe Angella (Claret Jug), Phil Bell (Versus Par, Beachy Head for pairs), Grahame Berry (Morrisons Challenge Cup), John Boniface (Mixed Challenge Cup for pairs, with Caroline Abbott), Rob Caffrey (Turkey Competition, Tolley Salver, Members’ Cup, Stanley Ellis Cup, Player of the Year), Paul Choppy (Thackery Cup, Eclectic, Beachy Head for pairs);
Chris Dalton (Chris Perry Memorial Cup), Guy Dunstall (Ken Hookway Scratch Knockout Bowl), Kevin Elphick (Spring/Autumn Overall), Will Fairbairn (Gus Smith Cup), Dave Field (Artisans Challenge Cup), Roger Geering (Kevin Elphick Scratch Knockout Trophy, Gildredge Manor Cup, St Cyprians Cup), John Guy (George B Cooper Rabbit Cup), Simon Hadland (Autumn Cup);
Kevin Hardy (Tolley Putter), Shaun Harrison (Club Champion), Louie Highfield (Spring Cup); Dave Inch (Stan Teague Memorial Cup for pairs), Phil Manser (Archie Rust Cup), Roger Mills (Don Whatley Trophy), Peter O’Neil (Jubilee Cup), Geoff Pack (Evil Challenge Cup for pairs), Steve Redfern (Evil Challenge Cup for pairs);
Cliff Sandys (Gilbert Print Plate), Rasoul Shahilow (Davies Gilbert Cup), Scott Simpson (Centenary Cup), Paul Staples (Steve Tugwell Cup), Noel Traynor (Edgar Baker Cup), Mark Venton (Downs Trophy), Barry Wooller (Winter Knockout for pairs), George Wooller (Winter Knockout for pairs).
Medal and Stableford winners were: Phil Bell (Dec Div 3), John Boniface (Dec Div 2), Simon Burke (Nov Div 2, April Div 2), Paul Choppy (Sep Div 3, Oct Div 3), Chris Dalton (Oct Div 2), Seb Dell (Scratch Div 1), Kevin Elphick (Nov Div 1), Dave Field (Scratch Div 3), Norman Griffin (Scratch Div 4), Simon Hadland (April Div 3), Dave Hamper (March Div 3), Graham Hatfield (John Hall Div 3);
Louie Highfield (Jan Div 2), Tim Lorence (John Hall Div 2), Craig Manser (Jan Div 1), Steve Martin (Nov Div 3), James Packer (Jan Div 3), Steve Redfern (Scratch Div 2), Kieran Reidy (March Div 1), Alan Richardson (Oct Div 1), Trevor Saunders (Sep Div 2), Martin Sines (March Div 2), Nigel Smith (Dec Div 1), Ross Standen (April Div 1), Nigel Smith (John Hall Div 1).
Two junior awards were announced and one lady received a trophy on the day: Sam Smith won the Chard Cup, Jake Nash won the Centenary Plate and Caroline Abbott took away her share of the silverware in the Mixed Challenge Cup for pairs.